Working Paper No. 802

Correcting Mistakes: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes in Sweden and the United States

Published: June 22, 2009Pages: 25Keywords: Cognitive Dissonance; Voting; Elections; Political AttitudesJEL-codes: B59; C21; D72
Published version

Correcting Mistakes: Cognitive Dissonance and Political Attitudes in Sweden and the United States Mikael Elinder

Cognitive dissonance theory predicts that the act of voting makes people more positive toward the party or candidate they have voted for. Following Mullainathan and Washington (2009), I test this prediction by using exogenous variation in turnout provided by the voting age restriction. I improve on previous studies by investigating political attitudes, measured just before elections, when they are highly predictive of voting. In contrast to earlier studies I find no effect of voting on political attitudes. This result holds for a variety of political attitudes and for both Sweden and the United States.

Mikael Elinder


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Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

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In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


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